The Bush Administration, like virtually all recent US administrations, has had a repellently cozy relationship with the despicable Saudi regime. While our presidents feel free to criticize even the mighty Chinese for human rights abuses, they say hardly a word in public about the oil-rich Saudis, leaving the (usually mild) criticism to some low-ranking State Department official with a name no one recognizes. Meanwhile, extraordinary medieval abuses like this one continue in Saudi Arabia:
A teacher in Saudi Arabia was sentenced to 40 months in jail and 750 lashes for discussing the Bible and praising Jews.
Secondary school teacher Mohammed al-Harbi, who will be flogged in public, was taken to court by his colleagues and students, according to the Saudi newspaper Al-Madina.
He was charged with promoting a “dubious ideology, mocking religion, saying the Jews were right, discussing the Gospel and preventing students from leaving class to wash for prayer,” the newspaper disclosed.
Last week a U.S. State Department report criticized Saudi Arabia for its religious intolerance, saying religious freedoms “are denied to all but those who adhere to the state-sanctioned version of Sunni Islam.”
This report was from Newsmax, not always the most reliabe source, so I rooted around the Internet to see if this bizarre tale was true. Evidently it is. Here is a Saudi website in support of Mr. al-Harbi.
Muhammad’s lawyer is currently trying to appeal this harsh and unjust verdict. Many are still also waging a supportive campaign for Muhammad and his family (his mother and two sisters).
It is important to note that this website is made by Saudi citizens feeling for Muhammad and whole-heartedly supporting his cause for a peaceful world. Muhammad al-Harbi does not know about his website and we voluntarily dedicate this space to him, his family, and all who support him. We are praying that Muhammad’s innocence will prevail and that those who falsely accused him will be punished.
There are quite a number of links at the bottom of the page, as well as links to similar cases. Mr. Bush, time to speak out.